September 24, 2018
(yes, I know it’s soon to be Spring in the Southern Hemisphere – I’m interested in that too!)
This is difficult for me – I’m not all that comfortable talking about myself! But I think we should all have a deliberate plan for the changing seasons, as far as being prepared in our wardrobes. So I’m sharing my purchases…
I’ve been gradually picking up things for… six weeks? Maybe longer! As soon as I saw a black and white flannel shirt, I KNEW it was coming home to me. And a new black velvet skirt was imperative – my old one is too big! My rain coat was chosen to see me through those wet but not terribly cold days – I don’t have anything truly waterproof that covers the seat of my pants… Other things caught my eye, or filled a desire for a slight style shift, and thus are going to be given then “at home, critical eye” treatment.
So this is what I have, or what is on the way through the mail:
I’m still not positive about all three of the button-front shirts; the black one seems pretty obviously like it will stick around, but the other 2… well… I will have to see what they’re like when they get here. I’m trying to wear more shirts, because I feel like they’re a step dressier than tee shirts… It will depend on how they look when I have them in hand…
The scarf? It’s small – it’s intended as a pocket square – but I will wear it tied in a small, jaunty knot inside the collar of a shirt, around the neckline of a tee shirt, or maybe even over the collar of my turtlenecks. I was so smitten with the image on it that I asked for it as a birthday gift… I’m so fortunate!
These 9 items will not, of course, be my entire cold-weather wardrobe! I’m anticipating wearing these following items in pretty heavy rotation when the weather cools down, so I’m going to use these as the base upon which I’m going to build outfits using my tentative new acquisitions:
Some of my core garments are YEARS old… I bought my cashmere turtleneck on one of the last days of 1999, in Milan, on my way to Venice. I think the name of the store was Crocodile, but don’t quote me! I remember at the time thinking that I was being insanely extravagant, but now that I look at the gorgeous, lush softness of the sweater, I’m beginning to believe that it was a smart purchase!
At this point, the following outfits are a sample of the ways that I envision wearing my new pieces mixed in with my existing essentials. There are LOTS of possibilities…
And a note on the ruffled oxford shirt: I love this thing. It’s just enough dressiness/femininity, without being super-frilly or twee. It’s just the right touch, sometimes.
Does anyone else have their wardrobe for the upcoming season all sorted? And who’s looking forward to a change in the weather?
I’m being truly minimal this year. My Autumn purchases are simply a new pair of jeans, a long sleeved t shirt and a new bag. All are replacement items not additions. I have two warm cardigans which will be used to add a warm layer over my darker coloured Summer t shirts that will be remaining in the wardrobe.
Alison M Gunn says
It’s interesting that your decision about shirts is the same as mine. I’ve grown kind of tired of wearing t-shirts AS shirts. You’re exactly right, they’re not upscale enough. So I’ve been buying one or two Lands End shirts each year, and jackets that fit (from Talbots) rather than stuff that’s too loose. Big garments just make me look bigger. Anyway, yes my need this year is a velvet skirt and a replacement for a black waterproof jacket because I can’t be seen and I walk at night, and the jacket is now at least 4 years old, if not more. I got a tunic sweater from Lands End and a new pair of their Starfish denim pants, both of which are actually too big but they are wearable in the house. I found no new LE shirts I had to have. I did buy a Talbots paisley cardigan in navy and pinks which is quite wonderful, and a navy silk blouse. And Talbots’ merino wool cardigan/jacket in navy. I can’t wear black anymore, it’s just too draining as I fade. ;-)
Planned purchases made last 2-3 years following TWF, leave me with nothing else to purchase except from my own closet! During summer sales I purchased s.Oliver pink raincoat and later on the matching scarf and bag, I admit.
While packing spring and summer clothes yesterday, I was surprised to notice that lots of items went out and into the box without wearing at all! Not to mention that my closet was all crammed. The thing is that I start by following the procedure (usually starting from scratch) but end up hanging everything I own in the chosen palette. Another issue: this summer I hung clothes by type and it didn’t work at all, now I’m again hanging it by color and than by type.
This season I want it to be different, so I am using 333 template with 6 rows. I love the cluster idea! I am very inspired with the last post (the earthenware plaque) that is very similar to my chosen palette, so I was able to visualise it. It was so reassuring to see my pallete, the only difference is it is slate blue instead of greens. But I do have olive cluster that I’ll hang, too, can’t help myself. I pick the palette several months in advance to be able to corral my sales purchases. Introducing the brown for the 1st time since doing this, sadly no brown t-shirt anywhere in sight in stores? Every season I pick a different color combination, so it is all so exciting, like having a new wardrobe each time!
For this autumn, my plan is to hang only the top 40 that are the best match to each other! Not counting the 3rd layer.
I had to reply to your comment about hanging by function rather than colour as I was about to do that this season when I get my autumn/winter clothes out from storage. I wonder why it didn’t work for you? This summer my clothes were arranged by colour in groups e.g. all neutrals black, greys, navies and white/beige and accents of blues, greens and reds with each group starting with the lighter shades through to dark. I even had a section which I called “odds and sods”, comprising of one or two plain and printed items in taupe, coral and magenta. Luckily, I was able to form a small cluster of one bottom and two/three tops for each of the said colours. I actually prefer clusters, but so far I have only managed six clusters for holiday packing – which works really, really well, but I haven’t tried that yet in my main wardrobe for fear of it all looking messy as I don’t have a lot of room as I share with my husband and he has far more clothes than I do!
Thank you for asking. I used to hang by color, light neutral to dark neutral, and accents, and prints were together with dominant color. Each grouping was starting with 3rd layer on wooden hanger, then skirt(s), trouser(s), tops from larger to smaller. It was working since I love to wear one light neutral item, one dark neutral, one accent or/and one print. I knew exactly where is everything. (As being tall I am not drawn to one column of colors although I can do it.)
This summer I hung all skirts, all 2nd layers, all collar blouses, all tops. Each grouping was sorted by color (the same way: light neutral to dark neutral etc.) Why it didn’t work? It should work as before, one item from each grouping (or less). But it didn’t. I didn’t know what I own any more, I lost the overwiew. Was it becouse I left spring items hanging there so it was sort of crowded, dunno. It felt like sections of my closet were sort of “dead” – part with dresses – I wanted to wear dresses, but didn’t; part with both 2nd layers and trousers – too warm to wear; part with tops – too much colors crammed togeter to be able to navigate around it.
When the whole pod of the same colour hangs together, it is sort of “alive” with an odd item or two that don’t get much use, but the whole closet feels like I know where is everything and all of it works. If there is a mismatched “cluster” or an extra accent color cus I couldn’t make my mind, it is on far end so it doesn’t bother me.
Hope this makes sense.
I love idea of clusters as you explained, but my idea of capsule is more like a slot machine, so that everything goes with everything from all clusters. A long as all the prints are in the same row (for me only tops), it works. So in theory I should’ve been able to pull any bottom and any top and it should work. But it didn’t. Maybe it was becouse I didn’t pull away spring items when weather become too hot. I expected they’ll become wearable again when it cools down, but they didn’t.
Chris from Indy says
My acquisitions will be minimal too – I purchased several long cardis late in the season last year so no more sweaters! I purchased (or plan to purchase) dark wash jeans, a pair of dressy closed toe shoes, a mid weight silk button front and a mystical unicorn of a topper for a sleeveless dress (I have a short cardigan like yours, but the proportions seem…off…. so I continue the search.)
Like you, button front shirts seem more appropriate for me these days, so no more tees for a while. Glad you love your ruffled Oxford – we all should have something like that that needs no more explanation other than we love it.
Oh yes, that reminds me that I purchased several long cardis, too (1 cream extra long, lighter and 1 beige, warmer – on mid summer sale, and sort of rusty red that is now in stores – couldn’t resist it; and dark blue cardigan, not long, for spring capsule).
I 2nd the button up shirt choice, too.
I am considering a pair of boots that will add use value to my skirts.
You are so organised! I decided to settle on a French-5 piece wardrobe in dark berry shades this autumn to wear with my neutral palette of navy, grey and winter-white basics.
I purchased a jumper with a pretty lace insert on the neckline, a corduroy skirt with pockets and a pair of leather loafers (all sale items). I already have an Italian leather bag and a pair of trousers from last year to add to the five pieces. I think I’ll do another 5-piece for winter using deep teal, midnight blue and pale gold. I already have a teal coat, midnight velvet trousers and embellished suede ballet flats from the January sales last year, so all I need to buy now is a clutch bag and an evening top and I’m sorted for the festive season.
Those fall & winter colours sound amazing. I’m using the French 5 piece wardrobe as additions for my Spring Purchases (Southern hemisphere) to focus my intention and my restraint on adding long term pieces. I do love this method! My colours for Spring/Summer are khaki and light blue to my black, navy, grey base. I’ve added a khaki button up and sweater and light blue roughed sleeve top and light denim jeans. Maybe sandals for my 5th piece. Enjoy your wardrobe Sharon!
Loving your posts as usual. I’m glad you’ve kept your frilly shirt – I like it the best and in fact am gradually getting rid of my more formal shirts. So far I’ve just bought a rain jacket that’s almost to my knees with plenty of room to add warm layers. I’m in London and usually take public transport locally so something warm and dry is essential. Using your template, I’m trying to see if I can put together my own capsule and whether I actually need to buy much, rather than just grabbing anything I like!
After several disappointments when ordering a bordeaux colored skirt which then turned out to be not the right kind of bordeaux, I fell head over heels in love with a bordeaux colored dawn coat!!!! I needed a new one and I wanted black, but then I saw the red one and it was just exactly the right color – so I went and bought it, and I am soooo insanely looking forward to being able to wear it. And of course now I’m better off with neutral colored bottoms, so I stopped looking for the skirt. Besides that major purchase, I have a couple of things in mind but decided that I wait until I stumble upon them instead of searching around, and count on my good karma for the whappage factor ;o))))) Love, Mona (still struggling with non-elastic waistlines but making progress…)
I am in the beginning of a personal major weight loss campaign, so my “ purchases “ will be from the Rubbermaid plastic container of the too small clothes that I have been saving !
Here’s to finally using and not saving for “ someday” ! Plus, as I select what I wish to keep from that selection, I can also get rid of the too many and too large clothes ! My overage in garment numbers come from my love of variety and color . Within a given color family there can be a range of value and hue. An example of that would be peach , on a sliding scale into coral . I guess I just have to knuckle down and decide which end of the spectrum that I shall most likely wear the most, and donate the rest.
Good luck Shrebee with you weight loss campaign. It’s a pity that you will have to get rid of so many clothes, could you not get them altered or re-purposed in some way? That way you can keep all your lovely colours and you won’t need to choose.
I sew much of my wardrobe, so, for me, it was purchasing fabric to add a wine suit (straight skirt/jacket combo) a mustard straight skirt and a royal blue paisley A-line. In addition, I plan to alter 3 existing skirts, as I haven’t been wearing them as they are for too long of a while.
I love your raincoat! I need a shorter, all-weather coat. this one has me intrigued!
Aside to Allison M Gunn: I clicked your profile, hoping to see more of your wardrobe, but I was pleasantly surprised to find such absolutely GORGEOUS photographs! Beautiful work!!
Cheryl Klassa says
I am so ready for the change in weather. But it is slow in coming, as it always is in the south. We’re just excited that there are no 90’s in the forecast anymore!
I want new things, but I’m trying not to buy new things because I don’t know what I will be doing yet. I was laid off in May and haven’t found a new job yet. Will the new job be like the last one and jeans on a daily basis are ok? Will I need to upgrade to khakis? Or dresses?
I’m also looking at changing colors a bit. Blue and white will stay – I am a sucker for blue and white striped tops – I have 4! But I’m starting to like red again, which won’t go with the yellow and pink I already have.
Good luck with your job search Cheryl, hope you find something you love and not have to wait too long. I recently read an interesting tip that you should wear to your interview an outfit that is suitable for the work that you are applying for and imagine that you had to start work immediately after the interview. I guess that would point you in the right direction to start getting a few key pieces in your palette of blue, white and red?
Kristy Champion says
I made the opposite decision about collared button shirts years ago. I have a short neck and collared shirts bother me…having something like that up around my neck was irritating and a problem with makeup as well. I owned and wore many silk t-shirts (Jones New York) and silk turtlenecks (Chico’s) when I was still working. I’m retired now, but still practice the same method…if I want something “dressier” I just look for a more elegant fabric/print. I remember one of your “how to” posts on building a capsule wardrobe explaining the questions you need to ask yourself before proceeding….collar or no collar was one of them! :-)
This is so wise – everyone gets to choose for themselves! I love the idea of dressier fabrics – mind if I steal that? I could easily see a velvet tee shirt, or lace…
I’m on the hunt for accessories that will blend my color palette of green, brown, blue and sometimes pink together. I have PLENTY of clothes because I live in a true four season climate and I need casual, traveling and barn clothes. I’ve decided on gold for the metal and am giving away most of my silver. For fine jewelry I’m going with layering pearls. ( check out Passage de Pearles, my other favorite blogger). I see a pearl reno in my future.
Virginia Gehrig says
“…intended as a pocket square – but I will wear it tied in a small, jaunty knot inside the collar of a shirt…” This intrigues me. Collared button shirts are a main staple of my cold weather wardrobe and I have some small square scarves I’ve inherited. I’ve always been unsure of how to wear them. Now I’m going to try this!
I’m going to bias fold this little scarf and then see how it goes. I’ve seen other people do it, so I can certainly figure it out, eh?
I do that all the time. I started with bandanas in the summer And use silk squares in the winter. Like a necklace but comfy and not so formal!
Janice, please, I beg you, could you do a sample fall wardrobe for warmer climates? It is fall where I live, but that means 90 degrees gradually giving way to 70 degrees with chilly mornings in late October through Christmas. A handful of cold days scattered about. Down here in the south, we say we have 4 seasons: almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas! ? we want to wear the cozy outfits of fall but we just end up a sweaty mess. Anyone else??
It’s the same for me in Southern Arizona. It can be chilly at night, but still t-shirt weather during the day. More than anything, I keep my base wardrobe, and then change up my accent colors to be more seasonally appropriate for what time of year the calendar says that it is.
Joan Cecile says
I can identify with Autumn-envy! I live in a California university town and the dominant outfit this year for incoming female students seems to be white cut off shorts with pale tops and Repunzel hair. It is still in upper 80s/lower 90s and I can’t even try on a proper sweater yet. So, I love seeing Janice’s lovely Fall clothes, but I probably won’t even start thinking cool weather outfits until after Halloween. I will continue to wear my Coolibar long sleeve tees for sun protection, in navy and teal, with casual pants and jeans. Coolibar tees are made of the silkiest and coolest fabric. I wear long sleeves all year around, and just push up the sleeves when I am out of the sun.
I do the same thing—my accent colors get darker in August through December, even if it’s a tank top or a dress. I also find myself wearing lighter second layers, like a flannel shirt, lightweight hoodie, or linen pullover instead of sweaters or heavy jackets. I want so much to wear second layers in the fall!
I echo this wish! I am also in the South and we’ve still been in the 90s up until this little series of rainy days. I love fall and in general, cool weather clothes over warm weather clothes, but it seems to take forever for me to be able to wear a sweater without suffocating.
Vicki S. Cook says
I’m slowly adding things to my fall wardrobe as the weather changes. I need to replace my black cardigan and add a white button down. I love button downs and wear them year-around. I’d be interested to see the shoes/boots you plan to wear for with your fall wardrobe.
linda orr says
This is ME!!!!! Love it!!! Thank you sooooo much for all of your work! (Living north of you -Madison- and we had a tiny dip into the 30s the other night! The most wonderful time of the year!)
In the past couple of weeks I’ve spent a fair bit of time and cash updating my wardrobe. Tops were a priority. My t-shirts were getting worn and like you, I wanted to step it up a bit. I now have a black collared shirt (Winners – like Marshall’s), a grey print (Olson), and a pale pink print one (Olson), with plans for a cobalt blue in the works. They are rayon as I find cotton usually too crisp to wear comfortably. I also purchased a navy cable pullover with a roll neck, not too tight (Talbots), along with a pair of navy cords; a merino burgundy boyfriend cardigan (Lord and Taylor), and the softest navy zip up jacket (for indoor wear), from Olson. All of these things go with my bottoms in black, grey, and navy. I’m feeling quite set for the season!
I like the idea of button down shirts, but I have such a serious allergy to ironing that I end up rarely wearing them (except for suiting up for work, which is only occasionally necessary). How does everyone deal with this? I bought some wrinkle free shirts, but after a bit they stop being wrinkle free.
This autumn I will keep purchases very minimal: a long-sleeve white T-shirt, a “new” dark teal pair of leather boots (they used to be beige, but after a trip to the leather store and a messy afternoon with leather dye and new laces my most comfortable boots are now reborn), and an amazing 60s vintage wool plaid casual jacket, which I can’t wait to get back from the cleaners.
I love wearing button down shirts with collards, and I accumulated a collection of various chiffon shirts for the very same reason – no ironing needed! For my other shirts that I don’t wear, since they require ironing, I consider the idea of bringing them to cleaners to do the ironing, after washing and drying them myself, since ironing only is not expensive. But even that looks as too much fuss – will see. I also started to purchase polo shirts instead of t-shirts since they have collard and need no ironing.
Horray for rebirth of leather boots!!! Love the teal!
Thank you for the suggestion of chiffon!
Here is a little trick I use for woven things that need a little ironing. Put them in the dryer for about 10 minutes after washing, until they are hot and starting to dry a bit. Then pull them out and hang on drip-dry hangers, smoothing them along the collar and placket and hem with your fingers. They must be quite warm. If you are doing several at a time, you’ll need to restart the dryer as you pull one out, then pull another and restart it, to keep them hot. If you hang them well, they should dry fairly smooth, but if not quite smooth enough for your taste, either steam them with a garment steamer or pop them back in the dryer with a small wet towel for about 10 minutes to steam them. It sounds more complicated than it is, and it works fairly well.
Thank you so much for the suggestion! I can see how having several shirts that all go in the wash together and then into the mini dry session would be pretty easy to manage as well (as opposed to fishing a damp shirt out of the midst of a damp load of laundry).
I know a few people who never iron anything – ever and you can tell! But reading your method of drying whilst damp and then arranging collar, buttons and seams with your fingers and smoothing out the creases, then hanging to dry only to repeat for each shirt – seriously, I could have ironed several by that time with the desired result of a smooth, crisp finish. What is this trend for no ironing? I just don’t get it.
sharon, I’m guessing you are much better at ironing than I am. It takes me forever to iron a single shirt and I usually end up putting some bonus creases in with the iron while I’m at it. Plus by the time I iron the last section of the shirt, the first section doesn’t look so crisp anymore (like how to you iron the front without the other sleeve either getting wrinkled or hanging on the ground?). My efforts at regular ironing (which I used to have to do when I worked at a dressier office) never seemed to improve my speed or performance either. So at some point I decided that the world would keep spinning if I stopped ironing (and indeed I was right).
Dear Ivy, I’m not saying that you should iron ;o))), but in case you’d like to give it another try, here is how I do it: first I lay the collar down flat on the ironing board and iron it (with steam iron). Then I put the left front side part of the blouse on the ironing board, iron it, then gently pull the fabric down towards me so that the back part of the shirt comes to lie on the board, then iron and again gently pull so that the right front part is on the board. Then I pick up the blouse by the shoulder seams, lay it on the iron board and close the buttons in the front. Then I iron the left sleeve, then turn the blouse around so that the collar points towards me and so then I can iron the right sleeve. Then I fold or hang the blouse – done. I admit it sounds really complicated, but in fact it takes me about 3 minutes to iron a simple blouse or shirt with no special features like ruffles and such. A good iron is important, though, with the non-stick-easy-slide-technology. Hugs, Mona
I still don’t have my cool weather wardrobe sorted yet. I am usually a color magpie and just keep most everything in my closet at the same time, but lately I am feeling so overwhelmed with life that I think I may finally be ready to commit to something like Project 333 with a designated color palette. I’m not sure I can whittle down quite to 33 garments, but I feel a really strong need to have fewer choices in the coming days and months. I’ve been playing with different color combinations over the past few weeks to figure out what feels right and would require the least amount of monetary investment to be workable. I expect that I may be purchasing a few basics in neutral colors, like a gray tee and the beige ragg cardigan at LL Bean.
Here in Tasmania, today’s forecast – typical for the week – says 13 degrees Celsius max, and snow down to 400 metres. But I’m still thinking about spring and Summer as we’ve also had some lovely warm days. Using the six capsules / 30 garments template, I’m planning neutrals of black, navy, light grey and white, with accents of light blue and sage green. Purchases will be a pair of laser-cut loafers (see here https://www.blueillusion.com/shoes/flats/S5708/Scarlett-Loafer.html), a blue patterned A-line skirt and possibly a pair of black wide-legged pants. Everything else is in stock from last year (or the years before). It feels good to have a plan for the purchases instead of going shopping on spec.
A response to my northern hemisphere friends – I was interested to read that some of you also have difficulty in finding knee-length warm coats or raincoats. It’s the same in Australia unless you go to an outdoor shop which is ok but rules out wool for example. What is the fashion industry thinking? Are we all supposed to put up with cold or wet knees, or carry umbrellas?
I also tried the “ hang by type of item” method in my closet and I felt the same as you. So now I hang all tops together within a given color, but hang my neutral pants together separately, though grouped by color within that grouping, all of which are in a sliding scale within the brown/tan families. These color clusters help to clearly define any wardrobe holes, or in my case, excesses ! As I am about to move to a much smaller house with a much smaller closet, I am having to curate both between and within color families, as it shall create a jammed closet situation, which I prefer to avoid. Janice’s clusters of 5 items each has been a fabulous help with this issue ! A bottom ( pants for me ) a topper, and 3 tops should be enough in a given neutral or color, but I confess that I need to do a second cluster for a given neutral. My neutrals are my workhorses ! I shall never be a minimalist, nor do I aspire to be one, but I do want a workable, relaxed, non-crowded, pleasing appearance when I walk into my closet ! I have also decided to limit myself to three accent colors per season. We’ll see how that works with my craving for variety !
Oh, I am also hoping that my reaching my weight loss goal will automatically create a major editing of what shall then be too big sizes.
Mary The Pouting Pensioner says
I’m not anywhere near as close as you to being ready for those colder months, Janice. I’ve been building up some taupe and winter white cashmere neutrals. And that’s about it! Your collection is going to really work for you. And it’s so nice to hear you talk about YOU!
Shirts may be dressier, but they do need regular ironing ?.
Uniqlo light down anything is so The Best!
Hugs my friend, x.
I’m in the southern hemisphere and looking at my spring/summer wardrobe currently. I just purchased a lightweight short sleeved shirt made from hemp/organic cotton in light blue. I love it! This is my second purchase of this shirt so I know it wears well. https://www.kathmandu.co.nz/womens/clothing/flaxton-s-s-shirt-women.html
I am also looking at their reversible skirts (I love the concept of reversible) in this light blue/grey color scheme and a merino cardigan in that same light blue color. The Merino is billed as “Core Spun” which is a nylon core with merino fibers twisted around it. This concept of fiber combining is new to me and I don’t know how it might affect the wear of the garment. https://www.kathmandu.co.nz/womens/clothing/merino-wmns-cardigan.html
And of course I’m bringing out last year’s Allbirds merino sneakers in grey.
Another Southern Hemisphere reader…trying very hard to be selective and deliberate about my purchases this spring/summer. I’ve gone through my wardrobe, and I’m working to a list for both additions (a) and replacements (r). I’m bookmarking quite a few items I like, but slowly slowly on the purchases! Bought so far are Leopard slides (r), white linen top (a), white linen tank (r), mustard culottes (a), and a long white linen shirt with mandarin collar (a).
Still hunting backless loafers (r) – love the jcrew ones but not the $, slouchy tan handbag (r) and a light blue tee/top/loose shirt (a).
Shopping my wardrobe for the blush pink I don’t wear much through winter, and for the teal/jade I felt meh about last summer, but now love again. Darker pinks and cobalt have been left in storage.
I’m also liking some of the dark green coming out for NH autumn, so may buy some trousers to put aside if I see the right ones, as it’s a colour I love but don’t often see!
Another garment steamer fan! I pull out the shirt I want to wear the day before, and then steam it on the hanger, and it comes out pretty smooth. I’ll try the above trick as well. I’m so allergic to ironing that I don’t own an iron, but like others above I’m trying to move away from plain tee shirts. Layering fine tees under shirts also means they can be worn more than once.
Lori Biesecker says
Please, please give a review of your velvet pull-on skirt. I have the gold version in the shopping bag and J. Crew, but I just can’t decide about it. My wardrobe is navy, grey, wine, and a few hits of dark teal for the cold months, but I wear a lot of cognac leather goods in shoes and my bag, and I *think* this would be a good addition, but???? But, then I think: POCKETS! VELVET!
Do it! I haven’t been able to wear it yet but I tried it on and I’m really pleased…
Northern hemisphere but living in the South, so still dealing with temps in the 80s during the day. I’m gravitating towards Autumn colors, but in summer weights/shapes. Today is army green cropped trousers and dark plummy-purple t-shirt with gold flip flops – work at home for the win!
I have a week-long work conference in November, though, and I just realized a big wardrobe hole for me is black flat office shoes. I have several pairs of cute boots, dressy sneakers (yes, this is a wardrobe category for me!), and heels that I can’t wear anymore, but no dressy shoes. I just ordered a pair of Clark’s loafers. I also ordered a long lined rain coat from Eddie Bauer yesterday that I hope will come with me for a February trip to Paris! Also in an army green, my favorite non-black/grey coat color.
I am not sure what has happened to me but I’m finding myself not wanting to wear my usual black and grey cooler weather pieces. I built out a pretty good navy blue based work wardrobe this summer, and added a few more for fall, but I also found myself inspired by two of your monthly wardrobes – the beiges and pinks, and the browns and greens, so I also expanded into those colors.
I don’t think I’m going to need many of my black pieces at all this fall. Evening wear excepted.
Preferences change – you’re wise to be in tune to your desires! The nice thing about having a solid black or other neutral wardrobe base is that you can bring in most accent colors (pink with black is lovely, to me) without going nuts…
Brown and black together can look wonderful too…
becky johns says
For a daily wear option that is dressier than tees, I have found tunics from J Jill to be wonderful. Still as comfortable, but dressier, and I am liking their prints after so long in plain color tees. Everything in their line matches perfectly if you note the name of the color, so you can get a second layer like a long sweater that will match the pattern and also look great with gray and black basics.
I often buy the matching scarf to make an even dressier outfit for out to lunch. I have found they launder wonderfully if you tumble dry for a few minutes to fluff the fibers then hang on hangers. They pack beautifully ever if you roll them and place them in a line in a zipper packing cube. I put all the second layers, folded in another cube with a black skirt. Ready for anything.
Sara K says
My shopping list is short, and most listed items have been on my shopping list for several seasons. But, since none of the items on my list are “imperative buys”, I am content to keep on looking until I find the perfect thing. Here’s my list
Black riding boots with about 1½ in heel
-I do have beautiful, tall black boots but their heel is juuuust a little bit too high to wear when streets turn icy.
Black open cashmere cardigan
-This is probably the easiest
longline cashmere turtleneck in a pretty pastel color
-this is tough! But since winter is long and dark, there are days when I sorely miss a light-colored but warm sweater
silk/wool blend ribbed turtleneck that can be layered in a nice non-neutral color
-another toughie that would get a ton of wear
-a pine green beret and matching cashmere scarf
I’ve found the perfect ones, just waiting for the payday.
-grey basic (as in, great fit and zero bells and whistles), good quality blazer for work
This sounds like a basic that should be easy to find, but it’s not! I’ve hunted the perfect one for years.
And, of course I’d like to add a vintage Hermès scarf to my collection at some point (I didn’t like this years’ collections), but we’ll see when I can comfortably fit one into my shopping budget. This has been an expensive year in my household.
This season I picked up 3 pair of black pants to refresh my winter supply (they were on a sale which helped push me into spend mode) and a single sleeveless white V neck blouse from the summer collection (also on clearance) which I will wear year round. And that was refreshing my core basics.
I’m still on the hunt for a really nicely tailored white perma press blouse with some substance and crispness that isn’t a little too flimsy. I hate having to wear a cami to hide my bra because the manufacturer is cheaping out on the fabric. If I find one, I’ll buy a few if they have them. I got a lovely linen one this spring which doubles as a second layer nicely, but I want a perma press version too.
And I really do need to refresh my winter over coat, which has done almost 15 years of hard service, and still looks pretty good, (Liz Claiborne back in the day did some nice stuff!). I want to get it before my Liz coat gets to the scruffy bitter end, but I haven’t seen anything I like yet.
Accessories –I found a Vince Camuto grey leopard print long rectangular silk scarf at Winners (which is related to Marshall’s in the States). Love that.
I’ve been enjoying the idea of lavender and purple from pale lavender to deepest amethyst. I don’t have anything in that colour in any of my mini colour 5 piece French capsules to spice up my grey, navy and black neutrals but I’m looking for that.
I really liked that recent William Morris Patchwork Scarf post and I want to go that direction, maybe even a bit of periwinkle. The stuff I’ve been finding is rather depressing and not the gem tones I’m looking for but maybe after Christmas as we move into next spring.
As for Fall I’ve been keeping track of what I planned versus what I actually wore by photographing my laundry drying on hangers every week: It’s been instructive. I’ wearing less than I thought, and nothing in the brown or amber tones I’d planned.
Apart from my usual neutral core of black, grey, cream, white and pale taupes,
–I’ve pulled out and used only one major colour out of my French 5 piece stuff, and that is the Cranberry stuff. It’s a warm burgundy shade, with a hint of rust. Very spicy and nice. I have used my Cranberry Jacket, and the cardigan and one scarf that has the Cranberry along with camel, brown and black. My mother’s garnet earrings go well with it. So do my Majorica pearls and some gold tone brushed drop earrings I got for 5$ a couple of years back. It even goes nicely with my silver glitter hoops and other silver bits.
By keeping track I noticed I haven’t worn my 2 animal print tops once, but I have pulled out my plain non patterned tops time after time after time. I haven’t worn any of my amber or brown stuff.
I thought I’d pull to the browns, but no, I’m drawn to burgundy/berry/ tones and I’m really wanting to buy some stuff in flat out lavender to purple.
Looking forward to winter planning.
I keep seeing winter white and lavender with grey in my mind’s eye as a “winter icicle” look. Accessorized with some “diamonds” and other glittery bits -thankyou zirconias. I have some semi precious opaque purpley stones from an Alaskan cruise purchase set in silver “ropes” that would look nice, and an amethyst ring from my grandmother.
Pearls would be nice too. I’ve gotten some really lovely Majorica pearl stuff on different cruises as mementos and I love using jewelry with memories attached.
The “fireside” look is going to be more blacks and winter white with my red 3/4 sleeve blazer, and my Majorica pearl studs. I have 2 really pretty red tops that will go nicely with the greys and the blacks as well. I have a beautiful Chanel styled cardigan in a black textured knit with creamy winter white trim and grey mother of pearl buttons that I adore, that looks best in winter and I love pulling it out a lot then.
I LOVE that scarf you showed Janice, and something like that might be really good with the Paris in the evening, Chanel lounging by the fireside feeling that red and black always give me. Add the Eiffel Tower in, and it’s just perfect for a happy clothing moment.
I’ve never heard of anyone photographing their laundry, but that’s pretty brilliant! If you’re not in love with spreadsheets the way I am, that’s a very graphic way to get the same information…
The scarf that I got with the Eiffel Tower is small – it’s a pocket square – but I’m thinking of tying it around the handle of my bag sometimes so more of the image shows. It’s so lovely that when I’m traveling I might just lay it over the back of a chair and admire it!
And I’m looking for a nice grey cashmere shawl scarf. I want grey as it shows lint and spots less than black. I bought a red one and a navy one 3 years ago now, and they are in constant use as muffler scarves on my coats (navy trench in the spring, black coat in winter) but also in the apartment when I’m chilly and need a little cashmere warmth. Grey would go with everything I own, year round, unlike the red which I only wear in the cooler months and navy which is spring and summer for me.